Where the child's interest inspires great work

Maitri Learning creates educational materials that are research-based, accurate, beautiful, durable, and usable. Maitri Learning was founded somewhat accidentally by a Montessori teacher who was trying to buy the perfect materials for her classroom and couldn't find them anywhere. Now, the materials she created (based specifically on the precise directions received in her AMI training) are used by Montessori teachers, parents, and teacher trainers around the world. We are named after the Buddhist word maitri which means 'having a compassionate, kind heart.' We keep the principle of maitri at the front of all of our business decisions.

When you order Maitri Learning materials you can be confident that you are receiving materials of the highest educational value. All of our materials are designed by a Montessori teacher and rigorously reviewed and tested by Montessori teacher trainers, teachers, and children before they are offered for sale. Our research-based materials contain exactly what you and your children need and nothing else. 

Maitri is a green, eco-friendly, fair-wage, right-livelihood, woman-owned business. We pay all of our employees at least $15/hour, which should be our country's national minimum wage. Our prices reflect these fair labor costs along with the higher costs of environmentally-sound paper, toxin-free laminate, and inks made without ozone-depleting substances.

"Parts of" External Anatomy

"Parts of" the Ant

3-Part Reading

$18.95 USD

Have you ever really seen the jaws on these little opportunistic carnivores? These cards let the children check out the ant's tiniest anatomical details without getti...
More Details →

"Parts of" the Bird

3-Part Reading

$18.95 USD

I love the zebra finch featured in these cards. He has the most lovely ear patches, don't you think? Scan through and discover each of the key parts of its external a...
More Details →

"Parts of" the Butterfly

3-Part Reading

$18.95 USD

Haven't you always wondered what the proboscis looked like? Well now you and your children can look at that long, straw-like tongue for as long as you like. You can e...
More Details →

"Parts of" the Fish

3-Part Reading

$18.95 USD

This goldfish is so pretty...the colors are truly magical. Explore these cards and discover each of the key parts of the fish's external anatomy. The photos include t...
More Details →

"Parts of" the Flag

3-Part Reading

$18.95 USD

My son went through a time when almost every week he made a new flag that represented him and/or his friends. His flags had great symbols like fire, deer, and dragons...
More Details →

"Parts of" the Flower (Dicot) 3-Part Reading

$18.95 USD

Check out the stamens on this beauty! You can just sense the pollen spreading and sticking to everything. These cards clearly show the difference between a stamen and...
More Details →

"Parts of" the Flower (Monocot) 3-Part Reading

$18.95 USD

Check out the landing platform offered by these petal-like tepals! You can just imagine the insects walking right up to that pollen-covered stamen. Use these in the c...
More Details →

"Parts of" the Frog

3-Part Reading

$18.95 USD

You can almost hear this bullfrog croaking. Use these cards to see up-close-and-personal its main anatomical parts including those long hind legs for jumping. These p...
More Details →

"Parts of" the Horse

3-Part Reading

$18.95 USD

Don't you just want to saddle this beauty up and canter off into the sunset? This gorgeous chestnut is a great model to show off each of the key parts of the horse's ...
More Details →

"Parts of" the Katydid

3-Part Reading

$18.95 USD

Yes, a katydid is just like a grasshopper. This particular model jumped onto my desk one day when I had left the screen door open (it was so lovely out). I didn't eve...
More Details →

"Parts of" the Leaf

3-Part Reading

$18.95 USD

A leaf's main job is to absorb sunlight and you can just feel the sunlight in this leaf from the river beech tree. Look carefully at these cards and discover each of ...
More Details →

"Parts of" the Lobster

3-Part Reading

$18.95 USD

Did you know that a lobster's "tail" is actually it's abdomen? Or that their head and torso are combined into one piece called the cephalothorax? Scan through these c...
More Details →

"Parts of" the Sea Star (Starfish)

3-Part Reading

$18.95 USD

These cards feature a species of sea star known as the Caribbean starfish. It is the perfect critter to study. You can actually see it's brightly colored tubed feet t...
More Details →

"Parts of" the Snail

3-Part Reading

$18.95 USD

This little guy was sliming its way through my garden one summer morning before I borrowed him for a photo shoot. His long tentacles (with eyes at their tip) were st...
More Details →

"Parts of" the Spider

3-Part Reading

$18.95 USD

Look at the pedipalps on this guy! He is definitely looking for love. He showed up while I was sitting on my deck one day and just sat there on my chair while I took ...
More Details →

"Parts of" the Tree

3-Part Reading

$18.95 USD

I had the hardest time figuring out how I was going to get a good photo of an entire tree, roots and all, until I came across this lovely bonsai ficus! It shows in mi...
More Details →

"Parts of" the Turtle

3-Part Reading

$18.95 USD

This eastern box turtle was the funnest model. He slowly scooted across my deck on a beautiful summer's day but paused right when I needed him to and stuck out his ta...
More Details →

Botany "Parts of" 3-Part Set

$69.95 USD

This discounted set includes a "Parts of" 3-part reading card packet for the tree, leaf, flower (dicot), and flower (monocot); 4 packets in all. Bundle of four packet...
More Details →
Sale

Imperfect "Parts of" the Flower (Dicot) 3-Part Reading

$18.95 USD $9.50 USD

These are just like our first quality cards except the color is just a little bit different (more pink). Our slight printer error means big savings for you! These ful...
More Details →
Sale

Imperfect "Parts of" the Tree

3-Part Reading

$18.95 USD $9.95 USD

This packet is just like our first quality cards except there is a slight production error that made us judge it as second quality. The error may be that the colors...
More Details →

Butterflies

Butterflies Vocabulary

$7.95 USD

Remember the wonder of chasing butterflies on warm, sunny days? These cards let you get up close and personal with twelve beautiful species of North American butterfli...
More Details →

Butterflies Matching

$13.95 USD

Remember the wonder of chasing butterflies on warm, sunny days? These cards let you get up close and personal with twelve beautiful species of North American butterfli...
More Details →

Butterflies 3-Part Reading

$18.95 USD

Remember the wonder of chasing butterflies on warm, sunny days? These cards let you get up close and personal with twelve beautiful species of North American butterfli...
More Details →

"Parts of" the Butterfly Book

$12.95 USD

Haven't you always wondered what the proboscis looked like? Well now you and your children can look at that long, straw-like tongue for as long as you like. You can ev...
More Details →

"Parts of" the Butterfly

3-Part Reading

$18.95 USD

Haven't you always wondered what the proboscis looked like? Well now you and your children can look at that long, straw-like tongue for as long as you like. You can e...
More Details →

"Parts of" the Butterfly Book & Card Set

$49.95 USD

This discounted set includes one each of "Parts of" the Butterfly materials including: Definition book 3-part photo cards Definition cards Lesson plan included All m...
More Details →

"Parts of" the Butterfly Definitions

$19.95 USD

These definition cards match the pages in the "Parts of" the Butterfly book, but in this card format, the children get to mix and match. They can play with phrases as ...
More Details →

Leaves

Leaf Shapes (Botany Cabinet) Book

$15.95 USD

Children love using cuticle sticks to trace the leaf shapes in the Traditional Botany Cabinet but sometimes it is hard for them to make the connection between those gr...
More Details →

Leaf Shapes (Botany Cabinet) 3-Part Reading

$24.95 USD

Children love using cuticle sticks to trace the leaf shapes in the Traditional Botany Cabinet but sometimes it is hard for them to make the connection between those gr...
More Details →

Leaf Shapes (Botany Cabinet) Definitions

$24.95 USD

These definition cards match the pages in the Leaf Shapes book (and the shapes in the traditional botany cabinet), but in this card format, the children get to mix and...
More Details →

Leaf Shapes Book & Card Set

$64.95 USD

This discounted set includes one each of Leaf Shape materials including: Definition book 3-part photo cards Definition cards Lesson plan included All materials in th...
More Details →

"Parts of" the Leaf Book

$12.95 USD

A leaf's main job is to absorb sunlight and you can just feel the sunlight in this leaf from the river beech tree. Scan through this book and discover each of the key ...
More Details →

"Parts of" the Leaf

3-Part Reading

$18.95 USD

A leaf's main job is to absorb sunlight and you can just feel the sunlight in this leaf from the river beech tree. Look carefully at these cards and discover each of ...
More Details →

"Parts of" the Leaf Definitions

$19.95 USD

These definition cards match the pages in the "Parts of" the Leaf book, but in this card format, the children get to mix and match. They can play with phrases as if th...
More Details →

"Parts of" the Leaf Book & Card Set

$49.95 USD

This discounted set includes one each of "Parts of" the Leaf materials including: Definition book 3-part photo cards Definition cards Lesson plan included All materi...
More Details →

Montessori Pedagogy Blog

Setting up the Environment (Primary)

've been working with Libertas Public Montessori School in Memphis. One of our many projects is to open a new Primary class. So, I've been investing a great deal of time in looking at material suppliers, thinking about plants, and measuring heights for tables and chairs. Since I know I'm not the only one doing this work, I decided to post my thoughts and discoveries here so we can all benefit...and maybe get a few of you to post some replies!

Nature

Sometimes our space has many low windows that bring a gorgeous natural landscape right into our classrooms. Sometimes, we have cinder block walls up to a drop ceiling. We have to work with what we have but in all cases, we must prioritize the natural world. Not just because I say so, but because research shows that views of nature have significant effects on attention and learning. 

If you have windows with views of nature, showcase them. Put your easel right in front of them. Set many tables so that they look out on the vista. Banish your curtains and shades unless the sunlight is blinding.

If your windows look out on a parking lot or a busy walkway, hang half or quarter curtains. You want these at about 4-5' high and extending just to the window sill. The objective is to protect the child's attention by blocking unsightly or busy views while still letting in as much natural light and sky views as possible. Make sense? 

If you don't have windows, bring nature in. Get plants that will grow in the lighting you have,... lots of them. Give serious thought to a large fish tank or other pet terrarium. Minimize your use of fluorescent overhead lights and invest in lamps with those great bulbs that mimic natural light. (Be mindful of the cords, though. Keep those safely tucked away.) Build a canopy out of sticks. Get creative and find ways to make your classroom alive with the natural world. (Click on the photo for links to more ideas from childroots.)

View article »

Parent-Teacher Conferences

I remember the first parent-teacher conference I had. My daughter was not quite 3 years old and I had no idea what to expect. Her teacher, Maggie Radzik (an amazing Montessorian who deeply inspired me), sat down with me and said, "She's doing fine. I have no concerns. Do you have any questions?"

That was unexpected. She let me lead the dialogue and I had TONS of questions (like what are those "metal insects" my daughter wants to get her hands on so badly and how come she puts on her shoes all by herself here but not at home). That was the beginning of our teacher-parent friendship. It was also my introduction to this Montessori way of non-judgmentally and optimistically accepting each child for who they are.

Later, when I was a trained Montessorian myself and had to hold my own parent-teacher conferences, I always kept Maggie's example in mind. I don't think I did as well as her at first. I was nervous. I spoke too much. Sometimes I got caught up in deviations rather than focusing on normalization. But in every meeting, it turned out that the parents were actually the teachers and I was the student.

View article »

The Avocado & The Stick

The other day, I had the great pleasure of observing at a brand new Public Montessori School in Memphis, TN. Libertas Montessori school has been opened for not quite 9 months. 95% of their children live in poverty. In case you aren't familiar with this, children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds face incredible challenges. One challenge that's been studied a lot is their diminished exposure to vocabulary. 

At lunch time, I sat at a table with a few children and opened the healthy lunch one of the teachers (Carly Riley, also known as Dobby the house elf) made me. Among the dishes Carly prepared for me was half an avocado with the pit still in. This was like a bowl full of diamonds before the children. One after another, they approached me and asked, "Are you going to eat that?" And they'd touch the pit still sitting in the avocado. 

So here was an opportunity to share my knowledge...yippee!! We spoke about the skin and pit (like an orange with seeds) and the flesh (mashed up for guacamole) and our relationship began. In that moment, they knew that they could look to me for knowledge. I had to file away the need to give them a grace & courtesy lesson about not sticking their fingers into someone's lunch and join them in their curiosity.

This tiny little interaction revealed the glorious and fragile nature of the absorbent mind. Young children are curious, open-hearted, and courageous. They are driven to answer the question, "What is this world?" As they went to sort their leftovers into the compost bins, they had to stop by and engage with that foreign object I brought into their world. They had no fear (or inhibitory control). Their interest in learning about the world trumped all else. It is easy to loose sight of that truth when a child with a runny nose and snot on their hand touches your lunch! 

View article »